Confronting images of what COVID-19 can do to vulnerable people have been broadcast on Italian TV, showing doctors in hazmat suits tending to isolated patients in an intensive care unit.
Italian television channel La7 aired the haunting footage on Sunday (local time), giving a rare glimpse inside Cremona hospital in northern Italy.
Some of the patients can be seen lying face down, in an apparent effort to provide more oxygen to the body and improve their chance of surviving the disease, which attacks the respiratory system.
The patients filmed by the Italian broadcaster all appeared to be quite advanced in age as the mortality rate spikes dramatically for those over the age of 65.
Analysis done by the World Health Organisation based on cases in China indicated that those over the age of 85 who contract COVID-19 have a roughly 14.3 per cent chance of dying from the disease.
Italy has become Europe’s epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak with the country enacting extraordinary measures to deal with the spread of COVID-19.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte put his entire country on lockdown on Monday to combat the coronavirus, banning all but the most important travel and putting the final kibosh on social gatherings. It comes after Italians failed to take previous warnings to heart amid skyrocketing infections.
Two days after imposing the same strict measures on a quarter of the country, in the hard-hit north, Mr Conte urged all 60 million Italians to stay home. The only travel allowed will be for proven work reasons, for health conditions or other cases of necessity.
“Our habits must be changed, changed now. We all have to give up something for the good of Italy. When I speak of Italy, I speak of our dear ones, of our grandparents and of our parents,” Mr Conte said.
“We will succeed only if we all collaborate and we adapt right away to these more stringent norms.”
The nationwide restrictions take effect on Tuesday until April 3, and include extending the closures of schools and universities and closing bars, eateries and cafes at dusk.
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